What can I do about my boyfriend being so close with another girl?

My boyfriend has this close female friend. It always bothered me because of how close they are, so I decided to meet her. That made the situation worse because they were even closer than what I thought. They acted like a couple rather than friends with each other. There was no physical interaction, but he talks to this girl a lot. What can I do? Leaving him isn't an option.

Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP
I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals

I wonder if you could have a conversation with your boyfriend about how you are feeling. A few things may help with that:

  • Try having the conversation you are both able to have a conversation about something that is important (for example, not during a commercial for a TV show)
  • Maybe your boyfriend will be willing to listen to you for about five minutes asking questions to learn more about your experience, kind of like an investigative reporter would
  • See if your boyfriend is able to capture the essence of what you're saying by summarizing it for you
  • Remember that hearing you and following what you're saying does not mean that he agrees
  • Also consider if there are events in your past that are affecting the way you are looking at this relationship between your boyfriend and this other girl (we all bring our own histories into relationships and we unconsciously expect that what has worked in other relationships will work in current ones)
  • Then you can switch so that you can hear more about what he is experiencing (for example, what it is that he likes about her)
  • Also consider having a discussion that if one of you becomes very emotional and needs a break from the discussion, discuss having a timeout that will last for a certain time frame (usually between 15 minutes and one hour) and then come back to continue the discussion
  • Remember that the goal here is just to learn more about what each of you is going through, not to find a solution right away

This can be difficult. Consider working with a couples therapist to discuss it together.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Well, as hurtful as witnessing your boyfriend's closeness with his female friend, I"m glad you saw firsthand the dynamic of your concern.

There isn't anything you can directly do to stop his relationship with this lady.

It is possible to influence his side of their relationship.

Directly telling him your discomfort with how close the two are, may make him pause before engaging with her in a discussion.  This is nothing to count on since the control is in his hands and not yours.

I'm sorry to read that the option to leave this relationship is out of the question.

The only way left is to get used to the fact that you don't like this aspect of your boyfriend, and this is a disheartening outlook overall to you and to your relationship overall.

If after repeated effort to influence him by your opinions, your effort to adjust to a situation you don't like, if at all possible, consider a longterm plan to discontinue this relationship because by that time it may feel very oppressive in your life.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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